What is Blue Carbon what is its climate potential?
Blue Carbon describes the organic carbon that is sequestered and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems such as seagrass meadows, tidal marshes, and mangroves forests. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. When these systems are damaged, an enormous amount of carbon is emitted back into the atmosphere. Thus, protecting and restoring coastal habitats is a pressing matter and an important step to take towards climate protection. By protecting these systems, we not only ensure that they keep being long-term carbon sinks, we also enable healthy coastal environments that provide various benefits, such as:
- recreational opportunities
- storm protection
- nursery habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries
One of the suggested pathways to promote costal habitat conservation is to monetize the service they offer to the climate system. The objective is rather similar to the REDD+ results-based payments schemes as a cost-effective way to reduce GHG emissions in developing countries towards a low-deforestation pathway.
How does concrete Blue Carbon protection look like?
FORLIANCE has participated in several initiatives worldwide focused on designing climate mitigation strategies for marine and coastal ecosystems. We contribute by identifying and elaborating threat and vulnerability analysis. Our project assessment has contributed to the creation of an international voluntary carbon market aligned to a range of national policy frameworks.
In Colombia we work on a biodiversity protection program as recipients of a IKI funding. The objective is to structure a biodiversity protection program for integrated management in the marine-coastal and terrestrial ecosystems (mangroves, dry and humid tropical forest) in the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts. The program will design and implement an improved MRV information system for marine-coastal and terrestrial ecosystems, so that the risk of extinction and vulnerability can be monitored on all levels.
It closes the gap between the nationally gained information, their articulation and accessibility for decision-making processes. Integrated management aims at conserving healthy and resilient ecosystems as well as empowering authorities and communities to ensure sustainability. All in all, the program will directly benefit 2,600 rural families (indigenous, Afro-Colombians, small-scale farmers), and 57 community organizations in 20 Caribbean municipalities and 10 in the Pacific. Additional projects have been structured to prepare feasibility studies for reforestation activities in the Caribbean, Africa, South-East Asia, among other priority locations more sensitive to climate change.
FORLIANCE and Blue Carbon
As member of IETA, technical partner of the Initiative 20×20 and as an organization participating in the Gold Standard Working groups, we aim to develop a Blue Carbon methodology. This is the next step to facilitate climate finance and deliver tangible benefits toward the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.